NOTES FROM THE EDITOR (12-21)

Hello, everyone, I hope that you’ve all had a lovely holiday season. As we enter 2022, there’s a lot of uncertainty about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect our lives. As usual, none of the experts can agree, so we’ll just have to take this year as it comes, and hope that it’s much better […]

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2021: THE SUMMATION

2021 was a roller coaster of a year, filled with contradictions and false starts. However, there was great music performed live and on disc, plus excellent historical reissues and books. We note these accomplishments, and say farewell to those who left us in this year’s Summation.

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NEW HOMETOWNS, FAMOUS HEROES

The tribute albums featured in this issue’s CD Reviews were created by artists living far away from the cultural centers of New York and Los Angeles. Jackie Allen and Hans Sturm salute musicians born in the Cornhusker State in “The Nebraska Project”, Anat Cohen and Marcello Goncalves explore the MPB songbook on “Reconvexo”, Cyrille Aimee, Adonis Rose and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra join forces to examine the cultural connections between New Orleans and France, and David Sanford’s big band pays homage to Dizzy Gillespie and Lester Bowie on “Prayer for Lester Bowie”. Thomas Cunniffe offers his reactions to these superb albums.

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TIMES REMEMBERED: THE FINAL YEARS OF THE BILL EVANS TRIO (by Joe La Barbera & Charles Levin)

When drummer Joe La Barbera was hired as the newest member of the Bill Evans trio in January 1979, he knew that Evans had a long-standing addiction to drugs. Evans died of his addiction just 19 months later, while La Barbera was still with the band. The triumphs and tribulations of that final edition of the Evans trio (with Marc Johnson on bass) are the subjects of La Barbera’s frank and touching memoir, “Times Remembered: The Final Years of the Bill Evans Trio” (University of North Texas Press). Thomas Cunniffe offers his reactions to the memoir in this month’s Book Review.

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ROY ELDRIDGE: “DALE’S WAIL” (Verve LP VE2-2531)

Roy Eldridge and Norman Granz first met in 1942. Eldridge was already a star but Granz was still living on limited means. A few years later, Granz bolstered Eldridge’s stature by featuring him in concerts and recordings. In this Retro Review, Thomas Cunniffe examines a seminal collection of 4 collaborations between Eldridge and Oscar Peterson, produced by Granz, from a classic double-LP compilation, “Dale’s Wail”.

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DJANGO REINHARDT : DEVELOPING A UNIQUE SOLO STYLE

Django Reinhardt is widely acclaimed as the first non-American jazz musician to develop a unique solo style. Yet, his earliest recordings with the Quintette of the Hot Club of France show that the guitarist was still learning jazz licks and grasping the concept of solo construction. Within five years, Reinhardt was indeed a master soloist, working within the jazz language without sacrificing the sound of his Roma heritage. Thomas Cunniffe traces Reinhardt’s development through a 12-song embedded playlist in this Historical Essay.

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AUTUMN IN NEW YORK…AND OTHER PLACES (November 12-21, 2021)

In mid-November 2021, Thomas Cunniffe and a long-time friend from Colorado attended a series of 7 concerts spread over 10 days. The experience illustrated the culture deeply embedded in the Northeastern US. In this extended Concert Review, Cunniffe discusses all of the concerts in the tour.

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LARA SOLNICKI ON “THE ONE AND THE OTHER”

Following on the artistic successes of her previous album, Canadian vocalist, poet and composer Lara Solnicki has created a challenging new project, “The One and the Other” which mixes elements of progressive jazz, art song, poetry and symbolism. In this exclusive JHO interview, Solnicki and Thomas Cunniffe discuss the background and content of the album.

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THE SOUNDS OF CHICAGO

After a busy summer covering jazz concerts on the East Coast, Jazz History Online’s Thomas Cunniffe traveled to Chicago and caught performances by several of the Windy City’s finest local musicians…plus one notable alumni, Herbie Hancock. In this special essay review, Cunniffe discusses each concert, as well as a special memorial for the late Penny Tyler.

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VERONICA SWIFT: “HER INFINITE VARIETY”

In “Antony and Cleopatra”, Shakespeare wrote, “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale, her infinite variety”. The words were originally a tribute to the Egyptian queen, but they have special significance in the career of jazz vocalist Veronica Swift. Thomas Cunniffe explores the music and life of this multi-talented young lady in this JHO Profile.

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